lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.
lacking the power of speech (offensive when applied to humans):
refraining from any or much speech; silent.
lacking some usual property, characteristic, etc.
pertaining to the inability to do processing locally:
A dumb terminal can input, output, and display data, but cannot process it.
(of a barge) without means of propulsion.
(of any craft) without means of propulsion, steering, or signaling.
to make or become less intellectual, simpler, or less sophisticated:
to dumb down a textbook; American movies have dumbed down.
in the sense lacking the power of speech is perceived as insulting when describing humans (but not animals), probably because
also means stupid; dull-witted. The noun
in the sense person who lacks the power of speech is also perceived as insulting, as are the terms
is acceptable though not the term of choice, partly because it lacks directness. The preferred term is
which makes no reference to an inability to speak or communicate; the capitalized
signals membership in this community.
Which proves he is as dumb as a bag of hammers, the official says.
Protesters Slimed This Good Samaritan Cop
Does it matter whether Taylor Swift wants me to inflate my Internet notoriety by doing a dumb thing where I lip sync to her music?
Death of the Author by Viral Infection: In Defense of Taylor Swift, Digital Doomsayer
The way I film is based on the assumption that the audience is as smart and dumb as I am.
Inside The Secret World of Londons National Gallery
Republicans know the truth about these proposals deep down, or I think most do (I suppose some actually are that dumb).
How Can Dems Be Losing to These Idiots?
British Dictionary definitions fordumb
lacking the power to speak, either because of defects in the vocal organs or because of hereditary deafness
temporarily lacking or bereft of the power to speak
refraining from speech; uncommunicative
made, done, or performed without speech
(of a projectile or bomb) not guided to its target
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Old Englishdumbsilent, unable to speak, from PIE*dheubh-confusion, stupefaction, dizziness, from root*dheu-(1) dust, mist, vapor, smoke, and related notions of defective perception or wits.
The Old English, Old Saxon (dumb), Gothic (dumbs), and Old Norse (dumbr) forms of the word meant only mute, speechless; in Old High German (thumb) it meant both this and stupid, and in Modern German this latter became the only sense. Meaning foolish, ignorant was occasionally in Middle English, but modern use (1823) comes from influence of Germandumm. Related:dumber;dumbest.
Applied to silent contrivances, hencedumbwaiter. As a verb, in late Old English, to become mute; c.1600, to make mute. Todumb (something) downis from 1933.